Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How are the majority of bodies identified?

2. If the primary method of identification is not available, what is the second type used?

3. How are most people identified in a mass disaster?

4. What is a coup injury?

5. The baby Baden is called to investigate immediately following the death of the lady at the benefit died from what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe how Baden explains why the father of the female drug addict in Chapter Two has little emotion.

2. Explain what Baden notes occurs by the French Revolution as a way to bring bodies to medical schools for science.

3. What was Humes' excuse about the faulty autopsy, and is this excuse valid?

4. What happened to much of the evidence in the Kennedy assassination case, and what does Baden believe occurred?

5. Explain how Baden discovered the age, time of death, and identity of Katherine Howard.

6. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

7. What is psychosis with exhaustion, according to Baden?

8. What does Baden note in Chapter One is the price of fame when a celebrity dies, and why?

9. Summarize Baden's beliefs about what the DA expects an ME to do during autopsy, when issuing a cause of death or other findings.

10. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Baden points out several times in the novel that the role of the ME is one of politics, science, and power. Do you agree that the ME has power? Why or why not? Do you think the ME can directly affect the outcome of a criminal trial? Why or why not? Does this mean the ME has to show a large level of credibility? What should happen if that credibility is questioned? Do you think the ME should issue death certificates that necessarily help the DA? Why or why not? Be sure to analyze these issues using examples and details from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

The case of Carl Cappolono is listed as being an almost perfect crime. However, this case had several holes in it that eventually led to Carl's demise. Based on the book, what kinds of mistakes do killers make that eventually come back to haunt them? What do killers assume about poison, and why is this assumption incorrect? How can an ME detect poisons long after they have been administered, according to the tests done in the book? What does this say about the idea that poison killings are killings without a trace?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 4, Baden discusses the history of the office of the medical examiner. In detail, discuss this history. How did the position begin in the reign of King Richard I? What was the position like by the eighteenth century? What event began to change the view of this position, according to Scotland Yard? What began to happen by the French Revolution? How was the position seen in the colonies? What was the view of the ME by the early nineteenth century? What is the current view? Be sure to list details from the book in your discussion.

(see the answer keys)

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